APL.68000 information request (also for PClones) 
Author Message
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

[ For all you do ... this line's for you ... ]

I recently received a brochure from Spencer Organization, Inc. for a
product called "APL.68000" (in response to my having circled a number
on the bingo card in Computer Language magazine).

Though I am specifically interested in the Amiga version, I'm cross
posting this to all the comp.sys.groups that cover machines for which
the product is available (Amiga, Mac, AtariST, and PClone).  BTW, the
PClone version comes with a 68K board, and is called MultiAPL.

Has anybody had any experience with APL.68000 [or MultiAPL], or with
Spencer Organization, Inc?  The brochure says APL.68000 is a trademark
of MicroAPL Ltd.  Are these folks in Great Britain, or ...?

I've always wanted to play with APL since college [no "language wars",
please], and am wondering if this package would be worthwhile.  It seems
to be a pretty complete implementation from the (meager) information in
their literature, and does provide interfaces to the graphics facilities,
serial ports, windows/menus/etc. on all supported machines.

Two concerns on the Amiga implementation ... dunno if multitasking is
supported (no mention), and don't know if access to the native file system
is provided (mentioned for all *other* implementations).

They are asking $295 ($995 for PClones, w/68K board), and have a 30-day
money back guarantee, which seems in-line with (Amiga) compiler prices.

Any info would be appreciated; I'll summarize any email responses that I
receive to the net.

Thanks!
/kim

--

  or:  {sun,decwrl,hplabs,pyramid,ihnp4,seismo,oliveb,cbosgd}!amdahl!kim
DDD:   408-746-8462
USPS:  Amdahl Corp.  M/S 249,  1250 E. Arques Av,  Sunnyvale, CA 94086
CIS:   76535,25

[  Any thoughts or opinions which may or may not have been expressed  ]
[  herein are my own.  They are not necessarily those of my employer. ]



Sat, 17 Oct 1992 17:42:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)
If you are only interested in "hacking", and have access to a PC or would
consider a clone (you WERE considering a board for a PC, no?), might
I recommend STSC APL?  It costs $595 (list), but they have a version
minus the full-screen editor and a few other things, called "Pocket APL".
  STSC is an EXCELLENT company, good products, good support.
  800-592-0050 (Rockville MD)


Sat, 17 Oct 1992 23:44:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

Quote:

>If you are only interested in "hacking", and have access to a PC or would
>consider a clone (you WERE considering a board for a PC, no?), might
>I recommend STSC APL?  It costs $595 (list), but they have a version
>minus the full-screen editor and a few other things, called "Pocket APL".
>  STSC is an EXCELLENT company, good products, good support.
>  800-592-0050 (Rockville MD)

STSC APL*PLUS/PC is an excellent product, except for one drawback.  Because
of the brain damaged segment register architecture of the intel processors,
there is a 64Kbyte size limit on all objects(vars or fns).  For floating
point numbers, that is 8K numbers max per object.  I believe that, to keep the
interpreter size down, the also make no storage distinction between boolean and
integer data.  Since I believe it uses 4 byte integers, booleans can have at
most 16K elements.  This is most limiting when doing things like string
searches.  Fortunately, they provide a quad-ss system function to do this.

I have the first release of the APL*PLUS/Mac system.  Still a few minor
problems in the first release, but very fast. Uses as much memory as you've
got.  (I've got 1MB, I have friends with 4MB).  I've created variables with
100,000 integer elements.  Used Domino to do OLS on 2200 cases of 20 variables
(ie y <domino> x, where x has 44000 floating point elements). You can't do
that on any PC/clone.
                              Dan Graifer

Disclaimer: Nobody ever listens to me anyways; Why should they start now?



Sat, 17 Oct 1992 03:28:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)
I have just returned from APL87 held this past week in Dallas.  Both
companies, Spencer Organization and STSC, were had booths in the
exhibit area.  I agree with comments made previously that STSC has an
excellent product and would add that APL.68000 is also an excellent
product.  Timing tests may sometines be deceiving, but I mention
that on some tests, APL.68000 on the Mac is about 5 times as fast as
STSC's APL*PLUS on the Mac.

The reason for the speed of the APL.68000 is that it is written in hand
crafted assembly code.  A very nice advantage, indeed.  This product
has been around for several years, and has most of the bugs shaken out
of it by now.  (You might have seen it on Wycat for instance.)  The
major marketing thrust now is for the Atari ST, the Mac, and the
Commodore Amiga and the ports wore done in that order.  Hence, claim
the developers, the Amiga version has the best interface of the three.

One representative from STSC claims that they have uniformity across
different versions.  Among others, they offer versions for the Sun, the
IBM PC, and for the Apple Macintosh.  The Mac version seems to be descended
from a product called PortaAPL, previously of Cambridge, Massachussets.
Since STSC claims now to have uniformity, it looks to me as though they
bought the Mac interface and the customer base and plans to expand on
that.

In recent years, STSC has brought many developments to APL, including
nested arrays.  Maybe these things will be coming to to the micro
versions.  The company provides excellent user support.

--
 L. J.{*filter*}ey, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo.





Sat, 17 Oct 1992 14:13:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

Quote:

>STSC APL*PLUS/PC is an excellent product, except for one drawback.  Because
>of the brain damaged segment register architecture of the intel processors,
>there is a 64Kbyte size limit on all objects(vars or fns).  
>                              Dan Graifer

Not any more.  Version 6.3 ('m not sure about 5.X versions) now support
objects greater than 64K.  Amazingly enough, the speed does not seem to
be changed much...although I added a V20 and an 8087 at the same time.
BTW, updates and patches are FREE from the STSC bulletin bboard.  I upgraded
from 6.0 to 6.3 for about $5.00 in phone calls.


Sat, 17 Oct 1992 00:40:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

Quote:

>I recently received a brochure from Spencer Organization, Inc. for
>"APL.68000".  I am specifically interested in the Amiga version

I just received APL.68000 for the Amiga, here is a quick review.  I cannot
comment much on the language, I am new to APL.  Included in the cloth bound
box was: a single Amiga disk, with the APL interpreter, example programs,
and libraries; an APL.68000 quick reference booklet; a spiral bound manual
with sections on, getting started with APL, APL concepts, and an APL.68000
reference;  key stickers to map out the APL keyboard; and a separate booklet
on the Amiga specific features of this implementation.

This version of APL does allow you to access most of the Amiga advanced
features.  They have demo programs that shows the opening of windows and the
generation of graphical objects, all with little code.  You can also use music
and sound features using built in functions like OPENSOUND and MAKEWAVE.
I have not done any benchmarks though I have started playing around with some
heavy math, circular convolutions and single value decomposition (time to
get that 68020,68881 combo).  We will be using the APL to prototype Image
Processing algorithms and maybe as a front end language for a Parallel
Image Co-Processor board that we have built for the Amiga-A2000.

Quote:
>Two concerns on the Amiga implementation ... dunno if multitasking is
>supported (no mention), and don't know if access to the native file system
>is provided (mentioned for all *other* implementations).

It does support multitasking and it allows communication using several
methods.  You can spawn off different APL tasks during your session.  These
different tasks can all access the Amiga ClipBoard.  One method for inter-
task communication is using the APL.68K commands PUTCLIP and GETCLIP to
transfer small bits of information between applications.  An other more
interesting method is the use of their component files.  The APL.68K
componant file is shared between all APL sessions.  The component file
system can thus be used to pass any APL data (including overlays of APL
functions) between different APL sessions.  There was no mention of using
message port and I am not sure weather these features can be accessed.

There are also commands to access and create files using the native Amiga
file system.

If you have any specific questions send EMAIL.
--
Rich Miner  ULowell-Cntr for Productivity  !ulowell!miner  617-452-5000x2693



Sat, 17 Oct 1992 11:26:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

Quote:
> STSC APL*PLUS/PC is an excellent product, except for one drawback.  Because
> of the brain damaged segment register architecture of the intel processors,
> there is a 64Kbyte size limit on all objects(vars or fns).  For floating
> point numbers, that is 8K numbers max per object.
>                               Dan Graifer


The one drawback mentioned no longer fully exists. With version 6 of
APL*PLUS/PC there is no longer a limit of 64K on data objects. They can
now expand to the workspace size. There remain a couple of limitations;
Using "large" (>64k) objects slows things down quite a bit and some primitives
are not supported (domino, gradeup, gradedown most notably) and give a
"nonce error" when used. The restriction is usually there because use of the
primitive would likely cause a "ws full" to occur.
Also, for pre version 6 users, some of the problems can be avoided by
placing a large data object into a RAM disk and manipulating it using
Native file commands; This can be surprisingly fast.
Upgrades from earlier versions are available for a nominal fee.
The Braegen Group is the major Canadian distributor of STSC products
(micro, super-micro, mini, and mainframe).
For Canadian users our phone number is 416-366-6363.
--
                        Ken Marchant
                        The Braegen Group, Toronto, Ontario
        (allegra,linus,ihnp4,decvax)!utzoo!yetti!geac!braegen!ken


Sat, 17 Oct 1992 11:25:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

Quote:

>BTW, updates and patches are FREE from the STSC bulletin bboard....

I didn't see anything about an APL*PLUS bulletin board in the material with
APL*PLUS/MAC I received in February.  Does this board carry stuff for /MAC
owners or just /PC?  Can you send or post the telephone number of the BBS?
Thanks in advance...
                              Dan Graifer

Disclaimer: Nobody ever listens to me anyways; Why should they start now?


Sat, 17 Oct 1992 14:46:00 GMT  
 APL.68000 information request (also for PClones)

Quote:


>>BTW, updates and patches are FREE from the STSC bulletin bboard....
>I didn't see anything about an APL*PLUS bulletin board in the material with
>APL*PLUS/MAC I received in February.  Does this board carry stuff for /MAC
>owners or just /PC?  

As far as I remember it has a MAC section, but since the MAC APL is recent
it may not have much stuff on it.  I just spent 45 minutes looking for the
info in documentation, but I can't find it!  I'm pretty sure it's in there
somewhere.  Anyway, the number is 1-301-340-6296.  The BBS is amazingly
like a maze-so better call on a weekend.  The BBS also has info on mainframe
and all other implementations that STSC handles.  It's sort of an APL BBS.


Sat, 17 Oct 1992 22:32:00 GMT  
 
 [ 12 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. I-APL, Vanguard APL, and APL.68000

2. Porting APL*PLUS/PC to APL.68000

3. APL for 68000; MAC APL

4. Looking for 68000 to 80x86 conversion information

5. APL.68000 for Macintosh

6. Cross-talk Bug in Native APL 68000 Level II

7. Product Announcement - APL.68000 Level II for Mac and Power Mac

8. APL.68000 Level II for Mac experience?

9. GEM and MIDI using APL.68000; help

10. APL.68000 for the Macintosh

11. APL.68000

12. APL.68000 level II?

 

 
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software